Original Article

The Cancer Risk among Physicians in Taiwan, a Population-Based Propensity Score Matched Cohort Study


Background: The field of physician health is gaining increasing attention; however, most research and interventions have concentrated on factors such as job stress, mental health, and substance abuse. The risks of major cancers in physicians remain unclear. We used a propensity score-matched analysis to investigate the risk of cancer in physicians relative to the general population who had no healthcare-related professional background.

Methods: Data were obtained from the National Health Insurance system in Taiwan. The physician cohort contained 29,713 physicians, and each physician was propensity score-matched with a person from the general population.

Results: The physicians demonstrated a 0.90-fold lower risk of all-cancers (95% confidence interval [CI] = 0.83 – 0.96) when compared with the general population. Female physicians had a higher risk of cancer than male physicians (adjusted hazard ratio [HR] = 1.59; 95% CI = 1.28 – 1.96). Physicians had higher risks of prostate (HR = 1.26; 95% CI = 1.00 – 1.59) and thyroid cancers (HR = 3.16; 95% CI = 1.69 – 5.90) when compared with the general population.

Conclusion: Physicians have lower rates of overall cancer risk than the general population. Female physicians have higher cancer risks than male physicians. Male physicians have higher risks of thyroid and prostate cancer relative to the general population.

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IssueVol 50 No 2 (2021) QRcode
SectionOriginal Article(s)
DOI https://doi.org/10.18502/ijph.v50i2.5344
Cancer risk Cohort Study Gender Physicians Propensity score matching

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How to Cite
YANG H-Y, CHEN C-R, LEE S-Y, TSAI W-C, HSU Y-H. The Cancer Risk among Physicians in Taiwan, a Population-Based Propensity Score Matched Cohort Study. Iran J Public Health. 50(2):297-305.